Coronavirus Cases Surge In California Prisons — Again

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Coronavirus instances have surged in California’s prisons — once more — because the omicron variant spreads throughout the nation.

There are over 2,300 active COVID-19 cases amongst incarcerated folks in California prisons at present — up from some 52 reported instances in early December.

Half a dozen state prisons have seen COVID-19 outbreaks of over 100 new instances within the final two weeks.

And greater than 3,800 jail staff in California at present have COVID-19. Staffers aren’t required to be vaccinated except they work in well being care roles.

The state’s corrections division stated in an announcement that the company “has been taking immediate steps to protect those who live in, work at and visit our state prisons,” noting that hospitalizations are low (three incarcerated individuals are at present hospitalized) and 80% of these incarcerated and 69% of employees are absolutely vaccinated.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a reported 246 people incarcerated in California’s prisons have died from the virus.

An inspector basic’s report final year slammed California’s correctional division for inflicting an outbreak at San Quentin jail that contaminated some 2,000 incarcerated folks and killed over two dozen.

The entrance gate of San Quentin State Prison on June 29, 2020, in California.

Justin Sullivan through Getty Images

In California, as in the remainder of the nation, Black and Latinx individuals are disproportionately incarcerated, in addition to disproportionately hard-hit by the coronavirus.

The U.S. has seen a steep climb in COVID-19 cases in latest weeks because the extremely contagious omicron variant spreads. Hospitalizations and deaths stay low for people who find themselves absolutely vaccinated and boosted.

Previous jumps in COVID instances at California prisons in the summertime and winter of 2020 led advocates to demand a dramatic discount within the state’s jail inhabitants.

While the state has launched hundreds of individuals from prisons within the final couple of years — lowering California’s jail inhabitants from some 122,000 incarcerated people in March 2020, in the beginning of the pandemic, to nearly 100,000 today — advocates have stated that’s not sufficient.

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